Monday, October 15, 2007

Harrison Bergeron

Kurt Vonnegut is satarizing Americans' tendencies to always seek equality. Our country was based upon these principles and therefore we continue to argue the basic applications of equality, but to a certain extent that gets exhausted. It is not that they are obsessed with equality, but I believe they are obsessed with the differences between our cultures, skin, race, ethnicity and appeances that they mask it with claiming "equality for all!". I believe that if someone truly did not care about race, then they would be blind to it, and would not concern themselves with the particulars of the Constitution. But I digress.

Vonnegut was also satarizing Egalitarianism, which was also the theme of the story. The ideals of an Egalitarianist society are good in theory, but differences and individualism is also necessary, and I believe this is what Vonnegut was trying to argue. Vonnegut used severe hyperbole to get his point across, and it worked. Just like Orwell and Huxley, Vonnegut used the extreme examples of a society they invisioned to capture the attentions of many.

The story is written in 3rd person. It seems to be from an outside source with no judgement or perception attatched to either side. This adds to the story and is better than if Harrison or his parents had narrated it. It gives us readers an point of view unconnected extremely with one side. It does hint at the absurdity of Harrison's parents and the society they cling to, but it does it very elegantly, resisting the total abashment of the society. This also adds to the story because it leads us, as readers, to draw our own conclusions although the author subtlely takes us by the hand and slowly leads us to them.

“Vonnegut proves repeatedly…that men and women remaining fundamentally the same, no matter what technology surrounds them.” This holds to be true in Vonnegut's story. For example, George's ear piece was to prevent him from thinking about certain things, and it would be assumed that eventually he would simply learn to not think like that, but he never learns. Despite the constant pains his mind still attempts to think deeper than allowed. That part of human nature was unaltered, despite the constant technological interference.

1 comment:

Rory said...


Nice work. You do a nice job mixing up analysis between what theme and style.